Huashan Hospital


Shanghai, China




Architecture, Interior Design

In an effort to position Shanghai as a world-class medical destination, the Chinese government launched a design competition challenging architects across the globe to create a blueprint for a new international medical city. An innovative rethinking of the conventional hospital campus secured Gresham Smith first place and ultimately the commission to master plan the new state-of-the-art medical complex, Shanghai New Hongqiao International Medical Center.

We then designed two of the 77-acre medical city’s first buildings, which will set operational and aesthetic benchmarks for the rest of the campus. Huashan Hospital’s 1 million-square-foot, 800-bed neurological hospital comprises an emergency department, an outpatient department, surgery, an 80-bed ICU, diagnostics and treatment facilities, acute care and a 150,000-square-foot research component that enhances Huashan’s reputation for outstanding clinical achievements.

square feet
acre medical city

The hospital’s patient-centered design begins with the entrance lobby, which is arranged to reduce anxiety among inpatients, outpatients and visitors. Natural light, clearly designated separate patient entrances and intuitive wayfinding also promote a sense of well-being. Throughout the hospital, public and inpatient circulation are separated to provide greater privacy for patients and their families. Close adjacencies of related departments create compact and efficient circulation and maximize operational relationships among the emergency room, imaging department, operating rooms and intensive care units.

the three-story hospital lobby with escalators and a planter with tall bamboo

Typical patient rooms were designed to take advantage of natural light and the building’s southern exposure. Angled headwalls accommodate three patient beds while also providing privacy and allowing each patient to maintain a view to the outdoors. VIP patient rooms were designed using materials with natural colors, including wood-impregnated vinyl floor covering.

Huashan Hospital’s innovative design also brings new technology and efficiency to the caregiving process. Intraoperative operating suites combine MRI, surgery and digital subtraction angiography, providing physicians with immediate feedback during surgery without having to transfer patients to separate rooms.

aerial view of hospital campus

Sustainable design elements were a key driver for the project. To offset the hospital’s carbon footprint, an enhanced building envelope and efficient mechanical systems were incorporated into the design. A green roof planted with grasses, flowers and other small plants contributes to energy efficiency, controlling stormwater runoff, and durability. High-efficiency glass in the building’s south-facing glass facade controls solar heat gain, and solar shading devices provide higher insulating value for the exterior envelope. Stormwater management and heat recovery mechanical equipment reduce mechanical demands. Daylight harvesting strategies, total energy cogeneration, geothermal heat exchangers, solar collection and a campuswide bio-mass system conserve energy while also producing energy by diverting waste systems.